GREENSBURG — The St. Helena Parish School Board on Thursday approved a disaster operations plan for the parish’s school district in case of any future major emergencies or disasters.
The six-page document outlines a plan that can be used for inclement weather, fires, hazardous materials incidents, terrorist threats and “other potential disasters.”
The plan sets up a system to help the school district communicate with other agencies during emergencies and establishes procedures for activating an emergency operations center.
The school district’s superintendent will serve as the emergency operations center manager.
The plan gives the superintendent the authority to declare a state of emergency when certain conditions are met. The School Board will decide when to activate the emergency plan or the emergency operations center.
The district did not have a disaster operations plan in place until now, Superintendent Kelli Joseph said.
St. Helena school district officials were meeting with Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness officials about some remaining work and documentation related to Hurricane Katrina that needed to be resolved.
While meeting with state officials, the school system administration began to realize it needed an official disaster plan, Joseph said.
“We wanted to make sure that … we have clear policies and procedures in place from this point forward for all employees,” Joseph said to board members.
Other business Thursday included:
BURN SITE AGREEMENT: The board approved an agreement between the St. Helena Parish Police Jury and School Board to use the old Fifth Ward School site as a temporary state Department of Environmental Quality burn site for vegetative debris from Hurricane Isaac.
Joseph said sharing the site with the Police Jury will benefit the school district because DEQ officials will clean the site for the School Board.
“It’s a win-win situation,” she said.
BUDGET APPROVED: The full board approved revisions to the school district’s 2012-13 budget, which puts the system at a $48,000 deficit.
The deficit is down from about $1.5 million about two years ago.
MAINTENANCE WORK: The board’s budget and finance committee renewed a professional services contract with Comfort Plus Inc. for maintenance work at the parish’s schools.